Nintendo is a whore.
And not even a good whore – Nintendo is that kind of whore that tries to act like one of those high-class premium escorts, yet still rocks the same scuzzy look as those dozen ol’ tramps on the west-side street corner scene.
Nintendo will charge you for a trick, and then charge you for the nostalgia of having paid for that trick before.
Exhibit A: Super Mario Bros 3.
Has there ever been a more blatant, transparent cash grab? Nintendo could have sold SMB3 in a plain-white box with big black text that said “WE ARE YANKING YOUR HARD-EARNED CASH OUT OF YOUR SMELLY HANDS IN EXCHANGE FOR MANIPULATING THE SENTIMENTAL PARTS OF YOUR PUDGY LITTLE BRAINS” and they still would have sold four gazillion copies.
It is the same experience as the same experience as before. Have you ever played a core Super Mario Bros game? Then you know the formula. You already have the memory of it. This game is not only unnecessary, but neither is it even insightful or provide any benefit whatsoever.
This is non-creative, non-artistic effort. This is a remix of a remix, and that is even within the game itself. Oh boy, we just completed a two-dimensional side-scrolling platformer level that is littered with pattern-based enemies, sprinkled with one-hit power-ups, spiced with a somewhat generous time limit, and relying on virtual dexterity slightly more than trial-and-error memorization.
Hey, guess what’s next?
It’s almost as if the Nintendo devs just made their own little private “game” of copy-pasting the same elements, they might as well call this process Super Mario Mak—
Look, developmental critique aside, your arguments against Bros 3 being a shallow money clutch end with a two-word counterpoint:
Sure, you may hear complaints about the modern movie scene being besieged by the oh-so-evil horrors of product placement, but at least we don’t pay for a 90-minute full-on commercial for a new video game.
The thing is, I could forgive Super 3 for being derivative if it copied the good stuff. Instead, Nintendo literally took the worst traits of Super Mario Bros and rehashed them in a yellow cardboard case.
For example: Story is important, right? A gripping narrative not only compels you to bother investing time in a game experience, but an inspired fiction can thrill, shock, despair, or even cause an audience to question their surrounding sociopolitical constructs.
Ah, but not Super Mario Bros 3! No sir, we are trotting out the same dude-saves-princess story as the Neanderthals told each other around fires they were barely competent enough to build. To call this “plot” a “trope” would be an insult to tropes. No, this is no story – this is a dead horse being beaten by a broken record while screaming Nickelback lyrics through a Disney™ Star Wars© Kylo Ren® Electronic Voice-Altering Mask™©®.
Super Mario Bros 3 is the original Tumblrina. It is an animated .gif of a pack of animated .gifs dancing on a landfill of dead animated .gifs. It is a red solo cup of lukewarm piss being poured into a puddle of lukewarm piss.
Besides, didn’t we already cover this in our inaugural Why Your Favourite Game Is Garbage?
“But Eric,” I hear you protesting, “Super Mario Bros 3 absolutely does have original, creative, worthwhile contributions to gaming!”
“Like what?” I retort.
“How about those enemy desi—”
If slapping wings on a Goomba qualifies as creative and original, we truly live in dark times.
“What about the new power-ups?”
Really? They’re not exactly brilliant. Here’s a fun challenge: Try to describe the new Super Mario Bros 3 power-ups to a sane human being and see how long it takes before they start staring at you like your ears just sprouted pineapples.
You can get… a leaf… in order to turn into a raccoon… that can fly? What?!
Oh, but there’s also a green wind-up shoe! You can get in it and jump around! Golly, it’s amazing! And not at all like something a four-year-old would come up with in a fit of attention-addled randomness!
Consumers are mindless zombies kept satiated by the machinations of the comfortable in order to persist in an oppressive status quo.
Suck it up, babies: Stupor Bores Mackerel 3.0 is a bright, steamy iguana turd. When I tried to show my nine-year-old niece this game, she punched the television screen, grabbed a shard of glass, and shanked me in the kidney. Have you ever had a lacerated kidney before? It really sucks. I mean, not as much as playing Super Mario Bros 3, but it’s really unpleasant. Very painful.
This game is dumber than my cousin Shane, and my cousin Shane once poured protein supplement in his gas tank “for a stronger motor.” My cousin Shane thinks Donald Trump has good ideas. My cousin Shane cannot spell the word “tool.” My cousin Shane sells old issues of Sports Illustrated by the side of the highway. My cousin Shane thinks the metric system is an instrument of Satan. My cousin Shane got fired from his last job for trying to use White-Out on his paychecks. Shane gets legitimately confused by knock-knock jokes. Shane maintains a well-stocked bomb shelter, “in case Y2K strikes again.”
The final boss fight (with the same boss as every other Mario game ever) is a sloggy disappointment. It’s not even a boss fight. It’s more of a boss avoid.
The title screen is literally trying to tell you that “making video games” is all an act by Nintendo.
The soundtrack has somehow taken a step backwards from the previous SMB titles. None of the tracks come close to matching the legendary quality of the level 1-1 tune from the original.
Have you played Super Mario Bros 2 lately? That game has some really jammin’ tunes. They even removed the character-select option in 3, an option which I thought was a stroke of genius by Nintendo. It really helped to make Super Mario Bros 2 the most authentic Mario offering to date.
The world themes are as clichéd as a fat American who buys a gun and then uses the gun to shoot people.
Except Giant World. That… that’s not a world theme you see very often. That one kinda sticks out I guess. If the whole game were just Giant World, that would’ve been cool. Like, you could totally incorporate that into a story, Mario’s been shrunk down to a smaller siz–